Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton

Toby Noton BM6, 2018


Toby Noton's Photo

The University of Southampton stood out to me as soon as I read about the BM6 medicine programme in the prospectus. Many people associate a career in medicine with elite high-flyers at school, but to learn about a unique medicine degree programme that allows those from disadvantaged backgrounds to excel as doctors was eye-opening and a breath of fresh air.

We are fortunate to have some of the best clinicians and medical researchers in the country based in Southampton, many of whom teach lectures during your first few years.

The course offered early patient contact, support from tutorials and a small class size in the foundation year, which was really appealing plus the fact that Southampton is a Russell Group university, it’s a campus university and situated on the beautiful south coast, as well as a personal connection to the city, all sealed it for me. It seemed perfect and I’ve never looked back!

We are fortunate to have some of the best clinicians and medical researchers in the country based in Southampton, many of whom teach lectures during your first few years. It’s reassuring to know that the content being taught is at the forefront of new research and relevant to modern-day medicine.

The study facilities available at the University of Southampton are second to none. The Hartley Library on Highfield campus has hundreds of personal study desks and both private and group study rooms. It’s the perfect environment to knuckle down on revision when exams are looming. The study spaces at Southampton General Hospital are also excellent and there’s a dedicated library, as well as study and computer rooms. The Centre for Learning Anatomical Sciences (CLAS or anatomy lab) is based at the hospital and is a useful resource to have when you need to brush up on your anatomy knowledge.

One of the best things about the course during the first few years is the early patient contact, which allows you to relate the theory you’re learning in lectures to real medical conditions and patients. During the second year, you have the opportunity to work as Health Care Support Worker on the wards at Southampton General Hospital, which I found an extremely rewarding experience. As a junior medical student, it gives you some insight into other healthcare roles on hospital wards and It’s the perfect opportunity to practice your patient communication skills. I enjoyed it so much, I ended up getting a part-time job as a Health Care Assistant alongside my studies.

The integrated BMedSci project at the start of the 3rd year, otherwise known as your research project, allows you to focus on a subject area of your choice in either a clinical or lab-based setting. It enables you to develop vital research and critical appraisal skills, which you will no doubt use later in your career as research is such an integral part of the medical world.

In my opinion, the best year of the programme is final year. During the year you complete hospital attachments in medicine and surgery, a placement in general practice and a student selected placement, which can be in a field of medicine that interests you. After the final exams in the January of final year, you go on your elective – an eight-week placement abroad. You’re able to go into hospitals anywhere in the world, in countries that you’d only ever dreamed of going to. It’s a truly rewarding and life-changing experience.

As well as the amazing educational opportunities available there are also lots of extra-curricular activities to pursue. I worked as a student ambassador for three years, which was fantastic. I was able to promote the University to prospective students and the wider community and meet a variety of students from other courses. I also took part in the Medics’ Badminton Club and the University Road Cycling Club. There is a club for every interest out there, and if it doesn’t yet exist then you can start it yourself.

Medical students are really well supported through their time at University. MEDSOC and the Faculty of Medicine, are always on hand to talk to and provide a listening ear. Studying medicine isn’t easy, it’s both physically and mentally draining, but when studying medicine at Southampton, you really feel like you are part of a family.

I’ve had an unforgettable experience at Southampton. It has provided a solid foundation to become a successful and well-rounded doctor and has reinforced my desire to pursue a career in surgery.


Share this profile Share this on Facebook Share this on Twitter Share this on Weibo
Privacy Settings